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The Techniques of Dylan Cole 2

Introduction to Cityscape Matte Painting

Sample Clip

In this DVD, Dylan discusses the fundamentals of cityscape matte painting by demonstrating how to design a shot, both from a plate and from scratch. Intended for the beginning to intermediate matte painter, the quick studies in this lecture explore the necessary color and composition techniques for creating dynamic cityscapes. Learn how to lead the viewer’s eye through a composition by manipulating light, color and line. Establish accurate linear perspective by taking cues from the plate and learn to set up an accurate 3 point perspective grid from scratch. A variety of architecture and lighting scenarios are explored, from sunset to bright daylight, and science fiction to old world. Enjoy this inside look into the art of digital matte painting. Included in this DVD are the original layered Adobe Photoshop® files in addition to the original plate photography.

  • Composition
  • Working with a Plate
  • Choosing a Palette
  • Creating a Visual Path
  • Quick Digital Color Sketching
  • Set Extension
  • Realistic Lighting
  • 2 Point Perspective
  • 3 Point Perspective
  • Atmospheric Perspective
  1. Three Warm-Up Cities
  2. Sci-Fi City on the Water
  3. Fictional Chinese City part 1
  4. Fictional Chinese City part 2
  5. Stormy City part 1
  6. Stormy City part 2
  7. City at Dusk
  8. Old World City at Sunset
  • Product Code: DCO02
  • ISBN: 1-59762-963-4
  • UPC: 805366014032
  • Duration: 280 minutes
  • Formats: DVD-ROM, Mac or PC only

DVD-ROM Requirements:

  • 1GHz or faster processor
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 64 MB Video RAM
  • DVD-ROM Drive
  • 5 GB of hard disk space
  • 1280 x 1024 display

DVD-ROM and Digital Download Requirements:

Minimum Operating System:

  • Microsoft® Windows® Vista®
  • Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional
  • Apple® Mac® OS X 10.2


  • QuickTime Movie Player (Version 7.0 or higher)
  • Acrobat Reader (Version 5.0 or higher)

For more information on DVD and Digital Download policies click here here.

  • Software Used:

  • Adobe

Dylan Cole

Concept Designer/Matte Painter

Dylan Cole is a leading matte painter and concept artist specializing in work for film, television, and video games. After graduating from UCLA with a degree in fine art, he took his painting skills to the computer. He got his start with a brief stint at Illusion Arts on Time Machine. Smaller jobs as a matte painter and concept artist led to him working at Rhythm and Hues on Daredevil. He then left his native California to go to New Zealand to be a senior matte painter on Return of the King for Weta Digital. He returned to the US as Lead Matte Painter on The Chronicles of Riddick for Rhythm and Hues, where he transitioned to Visual Effects Art Director on The Ring 2. He has also done freelance matte painting on many different films including, I, Robot, Van Helsing, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, and The Aviator. He is currently doing concept design for several video game companies and continuing to do matte painting on such films as Memoirs of a Geisha and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Watch this tutorial now with an Online Training Subscription.

"These three titles make me want to start all over and be a matte painter! From lush green landscapes to a thriving downtown metropolis, Dylan shares with us the techniques of a world class matte painter."

- Scott Robertson
Design Studio Press

Lecture Stills Gallery